JD Spicer Zeb Solicitors Banner Image

Useful Information

News and Events

Why Choose a Private Solicitor for a Magistrates' or Crown Court Case?

  • Posted

We understand that the prospect of undergoing a Magistrates’ or Crown Court trial can be incredibly daunting, no matter what offence you may be accused of. While you will certainly have plenty of questions about what steps you need to take, one of the most important decisions you need to make is whether or not to choose a private solicitor.

As the impact of a guilty verdict for a Magistrates’ or Crown Court case can have life-changing consequences for you and your family, there is no doubt that you will want to secure the best possible legal advice and representation – exactly what our criminal defence solicitors can provide.

Let’s consider why instructing a private solicitor for your Magistrates’ or Crown Court case will help to ensure you reach the best possible outcome, whether that’s a reduced penalty or full acquittal.

Why should you use a private solicitor for a Magistrates’ or Crown Court case?

There are a number of benefits to choosing a private solicitor for a Magistrates’ or Crown Court case, as opposed to a designated duty solicitor. These include:

You will receive the expertise and guidance of a highly experienced solicitor or partner, specialists in defending the most serious of criminal offences

You can instruct any expert of your choice including but not limited to:

  • Scientist
  • Engineer
  • Doctor
  • Consultant
  • Top Barrister QC not available on Legal Aid
  • Conduct every enquiry you want
  • Obtain and consider all evidence
  • Trace all witnesses who may
  • And much more

You will receive the best service from us. If your case is important to you, don’t settle for anything less. Our costs structures are transparent and uncomplicated. There are no hidden costs.

We work with clients from all walks of life. We are highly regarded and regularly receive instructions from repeat clients as well as professional referrals.

We have significant expertise in representing high profile individuals and professionals. We are known for obtaining the best possible outcomes and excellent results for our clients.

Our results are recognised in online high-ranking review platforms and by repeated awards won from our professional bodies which recognise excellence within our profession.

If you decide to instruct a solicitor for a Magistrates’ or Crown Court case, you will be safe in the knowledge that you will receive the best possible representation from an individual with a depth of litigation experience.

Our criminal defence solicitors are experts in their respective fields, which means they will be able to employ the best possible strategies that are meticulously tailored to the details of your individual case. The simple fact of the matter is that, to reach a successful outcome you will need to rely on expert legal advice – something duty solicitors won’t always be able to provide.

A private solicitor can dedicate their time to meticulously preparing your case

Duty solicitors may have a number of different clients at one time who they will have to balance their time between. When you instruct a private solicitor, they will be able to invest all of their time into defending you, which means they will be fully dedicated to your case.

We will offer you a personal and bespoke service. We will not compromise on preparation. We will ensure that the prosecution provide full disclosure to us to assist the defence case. We will also start to engage and negotiate with the Crown Prosecution Service early on in the proceedings to secure the best possible outcome for you.

We are able to provide access to top experts, Doctors, Consultants and Barrister, Queens Counsel (QC). We have built good relationships with these parties and receive an expeditious, professional and personal service from our expert panel.

A private solicitor will have the opportunity to get to know you beyond the details related to your case, helping to build a much more effective defence. We will also liaise with your family and/or third parties regarding your case with your consent.

Contacting a private solicitor is much more straightforward

A privately instructed solicitor will be dedicating their time to thoroughly preparing your defence for trial and therefore it will be much easier for you to contact them with any questions or concerns. This means you will always be kept updated in relation to the progression and possible outcomes of your case.

This constant contact will provide you with the confidence and peace of mind that your matter is in the right hands and is being handled professionally.

Our experience representing clients in court

At JD Spicer Zeb, we have over 44 years’ experience in defending Magistrates’ and Crown Court cases. Our team is made up of highly experienced solicitors and caseworkers who have specific expertise in a wide range of different cases.

If you are facing serious charges in a Magistrates’ Court or the Crown Court, our team will work to ensure your case is well prepared and that you receive the best possible representation at every stage of the proceedings.

Our team can assist you through the preparation of your case, advising you on your rights and the decisions that need to be made. We will prepare your matter as carefully as possible, including obtaining relevant expert reports that will help to build the strongest possible case.

With our specialist criminal defence lawyers, you can rest assured that your case is being handled with the utmost care and dedication.

What criminal cases are likely to be heard at a Magistrates’ Court?

The vast majority of criminal court cases start in the Magistrates’ Court, with a large portion of these being concluded there.

Magistrates’ Courts typically deal with:

  • Summary offences – Less serious criminal cases, such as motoring offences and minor assaults
  • Either-way offences – Cases that can potentially be dealt with at either a Magistrates’ Court or the Crown Court such as theft or handling stolen goods

What criminal cases are likely to be heard at the Crown Court?

While most cases will begin in the Magistrates’ Court, the more serious are then heard at the Crown Court.

The Crown Court typically handles four types of cases:

  • Indictable-only offences – Serious criminal offences such as murder, manslaughter, robbery and rape
  • Either-way offences – These are offences which can be heard in the Magistrates’ Court or Crown Court. Depending on the serious nature of the offence; your case may be sent to the Crown Court for trial. An either-way offence may also be deemed suitable to be dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court however the defendant can elect a Crown Court trial should they wish to.
  • Appeals from the Magistrates’ Court
  • Sentencing decisions transferred from the Magistrates’ Court

Get immediate representation for a Magistrates’ or Crown Court case

If you are facing Magistrates’ or Crown Court proceedings, our criminal defence solicitors will be available to take on your case and provide you with the representation you need to achieve a positive outcome.

We will provide clear advice in plain English along with sympathetic personal support to help you through this difficult time.

You can contact us 24-hours a day, seven days a week for an immediate free initial consultation, expert legal advice and representation.

Our highly experienced criminal defence lawyers offer:

  • 24/7 legal support in person and over the phone, 365 days a year
  • Representation anywhere in England or Wales
  • Accredited Police Station Representatives to support you during a police interview
  • Clear, effective legal advice in any language (see our languages spoken)
  • Local offices in LondonBirmingham or Manchester

If you need immediate advice and representation, please use our emergency contact numbers:

Birmingham – 07891 777090
Brent & Camden – 07836 577556
Manchester – 07798 701339

Bespoke Private Fee Service

If you believe your case is likely to have serious consequences for you now, or in the future and you have the means to pay for this service

Read More

Do we offer free consultations? 

Read More

How can we help?

Common questions

We always work with the most experienced and best leading UK barristers, KCs (Kings Counsel). We cover all criminal cases 24/7 at the police station and court. Offices in London, Birmingham, and Manchester cover cases across England and Wales. We can offer Legal Aid and affordable Private fee agreements. We can see you the same day, including virtually. Our Senior Partners supervise all of our cases.

How quickly do you respond?

We respond quickly even during out of hours. We do not get our work by paying for online adverts but based on the fact that few criminal law firms can match our 45 years of experience. Most of our cases are still from word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied clients. We are called daily by dissatisfied clients from firms with less experience than us. We respond very quickly to new enquiries. We know what clients seek and so we update clients rapidly.

Can you get cases dropped?

Yes, read about the recent cases we've helped our clients with here.

We always keep you updated and give straightforward advice. We will get cases dropped early where the case is weak or should not be prosecuted. We will be upfront with you about where you can benefit from a good result with an early guilty plea, such as a discount on your sentence. As we work on cases across all levels with clients from all walks of life, we are excellent at giving clear, spot-on advice. As an established firm, we can allocate a whole team to your case often at short notice to secure evidence to minimise the damage to you. 

Have you won any awards?


"JD Spicer Zeb demonstrated a clear commitment to client service through their work with vulnerable and diverse individuals in what can be severely traumatic circumstances".

Do you offer free consultations?

Where it is possible, we aim to provide an initial consultation to you. If we can speak to you, we can if required inform you about  –

  • Whether we can take the case on and our relevant experience.
  • Public and private funding benefits.
  • Assistance in applying for legal aid where we are likely to accept instructions.
  • An outline of options in police interview only. We will not advise you on which option to adopt.
  • Providing our free written guide explaining the police station process.
  • The gravity of routine and day-to-day offences you face.
  • Consequences of not attending the court or police station.
  • Consequences of interfering with any witnesses.
  • Retaining any evidence in support of your case.
  • If possible an outline of the elements of the offence that the police or CPS must prove.
  • This consultation will normally be by telephone or email and will only be for as long as we deem necessary to establish if we can act for you. If we cannot usefully give you any advice in this manner then we will not continue with the consultation. We will not discuss the case in depth for you to be able to decide on your plea or any significant aspect of the case, as this cannot be undertaken informally.
  • Referring you, if possible, to other firms for matters out of our specialism or if we cannot help.

Consultations do not apply to the following cases –

  • If we do not intend to take the case on.
  • Road Traffic cases, drink driving, drug driving, driving bans, speeding, no insurance, mobile phone use, points etc.
  • In all cases where we do not have the capacity to take your case or the availability of suitably qualified staff to provide an initial free consultation. This is applicable in all cases but especially where a more senior lawyer is required because of your personal needs or the complexity of the case.
  • Harassment/stalking/ coercive behaviour/malicious communications or road traffic cases and most sensitive cases. These cases are often too complicated to assess in short consultations.
  • The locations concerned may be too distant to represent you adequately or it may not be cost-effective for you or us.
  • The case is too complicated to assess or raises various charges or facts, complexity, or history to be considered informally or in a short consultation.
  • In most Legal aid transfers where legal aid is granted to another firm except in very grave cases, we may assess the case and merits for a transfer.
  • If your relationship has broken down with your existing solicitor or several solicitors.
  • If you have been released under investigation and have already had a police station attendance. 
  • If you hold legal aid with another firm and seek a second opinion.
  • If you are calling on behalf of the client as a friend or family member unless you have full authority and full facts.
  • To businesses.
  • Advising whether you were given good advice by your other solicitor.
  • Whether to decide to plead guilty or not guilty.
  • Whether you have an arguable defence in law or factually complicated defences.
  • Any advice you have had after your first court appearance.
  • Any advice on appeal on conviction or sentence.
  • If we feel we are unable to communicate with you.
  • If we are likely to be conflicted or breach our professional rules.